Seed of Australian fruit possible cure against cancer cells

Scientists have managed to destroy cancer cells by using an experimental drug derived from the seeds of a fruit growing in the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland, - writes The Guardian.

The drug is called EBC-46 and it contains an extract of the fruit of the blushwood tree, which can be only found in certain areas of the Atherton Tablelands.

A single injection of the drug directly into melanoma, as well as into tumours in the head, neck and colon of experimental animals, destroys the cancer cells in more than 70% of cases, - Dr Glen Boyle said. The drug is believed to trigger a cellular response which cuts off the blood supply to the tumour. It has been used by veterinarians in about 300 cases of cancer in animals including dogs, cats and horses.

However, there has been no evidence that EBC-46 would be effective to treat cancers that had spread to other parts of the body, - Boyle said.

The drug is being developed by a veterinary pharmaceutical company QBiotics, a subsidiary of EcoBiotics, which discovered the drug. The company is to find possibilities for creation of a blushwood plantation.

EBC-46 has been recently approved for the first phase of human clinical trials, but even if they are successful, the drug is unlikely to replace conventional chemotherapy, - stated Dr. Boyle.

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